"Digital Art is a media like any other. It's not for lazy artists, it's not for people who can't paint with traditional paints. I'm tired of explaining to people that it's not the computer that does the work, that digital paintings are done by hand and that a computer doesn't make everybody an artist (in the serious meaning)."
I said I was tired of explaining, but I'll do it again. So I can link people to this page when I'm in a similar situation. Here I go:
CrankBot commented on the above: "good point, but it will take at least a few more decades and a certain 'disenchantment of the audiences' about the digital media before you see this point as widely acceptable."
He touches a point that every generation has to go through. A certain fear for evolution/change. We're rolling our eyes at old people complaining how easy it is for us kids. We just don't know we'll do the same to the youth in our old days. New technology that makes our lives easier, new styles of music that reflects their world and ofcourse new media to create art.
It will indeed take a few decades for it will be accepted. The problem is: it's not a learning curve, it's a dying curve. The people that will accept it in a few decades is..... us!
My guesses for the unpopularity of digital art, is the common misunderstandings about computer generated art and the way we artists use it. What people don't understand is that every artist in every timezone used his/her ability to recreate nature, to copy a modified version of it. For instance: The Egyptians warped the displayed bodies to show every 'good' part in a single drawing. The incredibly detailed portraits by the Flemish Primitives in the early 15th century try to mimic a slightly more perfect version of the portrayed. How naughty!!
We do exactly the same in our movies. It took us centuries to get a grip on paints and styles, it took us a few decades to discover what's possible with the new technology. For the older generation, seeing a moving image of a person is more honest then a still image, because it's more honest. If it was a photo, it might be possible to be "put in scene", right? With the help of the computer we are able to recreate moving images and making us (or them in this case) believe it actually happens! So we're naughty too right?
But this time, people won't forgive us. This time something is different!
It's a common misbelieve that we are no longer the artist, but the slaves of our own technology. And in some cases, they are right. CGI movies constantly lie to us and if done well, lies so well we can't tell lie from truth. So whenever people talk about fake and wrong, they also mention computer generated (in less words even). Computer generated imagery (CGI) has got a really bad reputation for being not honest. Our technology (Photoshop for instance) has a bad reputation for making it so much easier. To give you an example: A Belgian newspaper had an article on their cover. It wasn't the article that made the news, it was the photo. When people saw the news reports about the photo being altered, they immediately started blaming Photoshop. I heard people say: "They should have never invented Photoshop, how can we ever know what is true and what not?" These words show a narrowminded way of thinking. It wasn't Photoshop, it was the reporter (or whoever did the job) who used Photoshop to alter the image. Way before computers were invented, people were working on photomanipulation. I can agree that people are mad for being tricked and I understand that a newspaper shouldn't be doing this, but blaming technology is the most stupid explination I ever heard. So Computer generated imagery had a bad reputation.
But there is more! It also goes around that there are SO MUCH MORE ARTISTS in this world and everybody who has a copy of Photoshop calls him/herself an artist, and boy, they would all shiver and shrink when compared to Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Why yes, that's so true. But let us think about that a bit. There are a lot of artists alive at the moment, but let us use our history-knowledge to filter out a few. Cover up, this is a blow to the face for a lot of people. Every artist that isn't worth writing about, will vanish in a few days. Every artist that has a few reviews won't be forgotten for.... a few months perhaps. Then there are the more popular artists who are known in the industry (that doesn't mean everybody knows them). They get in the books and they get all the work. But still, there are a lot of those and most of them won't survive history. The artist who will survive are those that makes something new, that changes a culture and is responsible for a whole stream of new art. And I can assure you, those people aren't born in packs! For instance: Michelangelo, Da vinci and every artist we learn about in school. Let us not be foolish and think that Italy only had 25 or 30 artists.
But statistics proof there are a lot more artists today then there were 500 years ago!
But statistics also show that there are less artists in Africa then in America (I can't proof that though, since I don't have the numbers, and I don't say Africa has no artists). People weren't that rich back then, you know. Some (read: most) of them simply had not the money to buy canvasses, to pay an underaged kid to grind their paints and the time to work and develop as an artist. We have so much more influences, abilities and free time on our hands, to engage in art or being artistic in general. And since our technology makes it easier for us to work, the barrier shrinks and more people dare to step over it. This is a curve in history I really like being a part of, and I will keep on promoting Digital art for the rest of my life.
To conclude this rant, I will answer the 'now' easiest question in the world:
"Is this thing painted by hand or computer?"
- By hand, I don't think computers can do this kinda stuff.